Setsuko Thurlow and the survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were chosen as the 2015 Arms Control Person of the Year.
Setsuko Thurlow has spent her life recounting her first-hand experiences in Hiroshima to educate the public on the dangers of nuclear weapons. Photo by: Luke Galati
Thurlow has long shared her first-hand experiences in Hiroshima and has become an international spokesperson in raising awareness of the human consequences of nuclear weapons.
This award also comes on the heels of the 70th anniversaries of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the survivors from the attacks are slowly diminishing in numbers.
”I’m advancing in age, but I can’t die yet,” Setsuko Thurlow told Nikkei Voice last year. “I have a lot more work to do before I go. I’ve kept working up to this moment and I’d like to keep doing that until my very last breath.
The Arms Control Association was founded in 1971 and promotes public understanding of effect arms control policies.
There were nine other candidates this year on the annual poll including former U.S. Secretary of Defense William J. Perry and Alberto Augusto, the director of Mozambique’s national effort to de-mine the country.
Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, said in a statement, “Setsuko and the diminishing number of surviving Hibakusha are an inspiration to those who seek a safer world and a reminder of why the pursuit of a world without nuclear weapons is so important.”
The runner-up in the vote for the 2015 Arms Control Person of the Year was a collective of representatives from around the world in the negotiation of the Joint Comprehensive Place of Action that established blocking pathways by which Iran could acquire materials to build a nuclear weapon.
It’s policies like this that Thurlow’s advocacy have helped create.